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Neighbourly CEO listed as top 100 Meaningful Business Leader for 2020

20 October 2020
meaningful business 100

Here at Neighbourly, our focus is on helping businesses to make real and meaningful contributions to their local communities - with the ultimate goal of creating a greener, fairer and more sustainable future.


So we’re honored to announce that Neighbourly CEO Steve Butterworth has been included in this year’s Meaningful Business 100 list for 2020 - a global platform for leaders combining profit and purpose.


“Meaningful leadership is about bringing people together who are passionate about making a difference.”


The Meaningful Business list is devoted to creating a unified platform for leaders around the globe to collaborate and share knowledge in order to amplify their social impact in support of the UN 2030 agenda. This includes the 17 sustainable development goals that gear us toward a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity.


MB100 was curated by an expert panel of 16 judges, following a global nomination process. The platform received over 500 nominations from 70 countries, with each one scored across 5 key areas: Impact, Leadership, Innovation, Durability and Scope. 


The 100 business leaders include corporate CEOs, entrepreneurs, micro-entrepreneurs, sustainability leaders, functional heads and impact investors from 34 countries. Industries that dominate the list include agriculture, education, healthcare and technology.


Steve’s inclusion in the list further demonstrates Neighbourly’s collective commitment to helping businesses become a force for good, strengthening community ties and allowing no one to get left behind.


Commenting on the accolade, Steve adds: “For me, meaningful leadership is not about one single person fighting for what they believe in, it’s about bringing together multiple voices and people with experience at all levels who are passionate about making a difference.


“I’m incredibly proud of the Neighbourly team and all the work they do to grow the platform. With each working day we are adding to our 15,000 strong community of local good causes supported by an increasing number of businesses that see the amazing worth that comes with supporting their communities and valuing purpose over profit.”


Neighbourly joins 50 major signatories in support of Universal Credit increase

30 September 2020
keep the lifeline universal credit increase

In April this year, the government announced that there would be a temporary increase of £20 a week for those in receipt of Universal Credit - an absolute lifeline for those on already low incomes for whom the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could have otherwise left them unable to feed their families. 

But with no real commitment from the Government to keep this £20 uplift beyond April 2021, many are concerned that the drop in income could force hundreds of thousands of people into poverty overnight. 

“16 million people will be in households facing an overnight income loss equivalent to £1,040 a year”

That is why we, along with 50 other organisations including Citizens Advice, Lloyds Bank Foundation and The Trussell Trust, have signed a joint letter to call on the Chancellor to make the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit permanent and extend the same support to those on legacy benefits.

Together, the coalition wrote:

We welcomed the swift action you took at the start of the pandemic to implement this much needed investment. Falling incomes and rising costs throughout the pandemic have put families under immense financial pressure, but the £20 uplift has been a lifeline that has enabled many of them to keep their heads above water and has stopped us seeing a marked surge in poverty levels.

However, if the uplift ends in April 2021, this good work risks being undermined. Modelling by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation indicates that around 16 million people will be in households facing an overnight income loss equivalent to £1,040 a year, with those on the lowest incomes and families with children being hardest hit. 

At a stroke, 700,000 more people will be pulled into poverty, including 300,000 children, and 500,000 more of those already in poverty will be plunged into deep poverty (more than 50% below the poverty line). We are therefore urging you to make the uplift permanent and stop families being cut adrift whilst they need help to stay afloat.

Keep the Lifeline

The letter was sent following the Chancellor’s statement last week in which he outlined his Winter Economy Plan and acknowledged that many families will see job losses over the coming months. Even those whose jobs are protected through the Job Support Scheme will see income cuts. Despite this, there was no commitment to keeping this temporary Universal Credit uplift beyond April.

Here at Neighbourly, we’ve heard from hundreds of small charities and community groups who this year have seen steep increases in demand for support, including emergency food parcels for children and families. 

As more people face risks to their livelihoods, our social security system will have a key role in protecting families from poverty and in enabling people to grasp new opportunities as they become available.

Support for legacy claimants

The letter also emphasises the importance of extending this lifeline to claimants of legacy benefits who are currently excluded from the additional £20 a week of support.

Further, it is simply not right that those on legacy benefits, who are mostly sick or disabled people and carers, and so have been most at risk during this pandemic, have not been thrown an equivalent lifeline. We urge you to follow the advice of the Social Security Advisory Committee and support 1.5 million more people by applying an equivalent uplift to those on legacy benefits who have so far been excluded from increases.

“It’s only right to prioritise those hardest hit"

Commenting on the publication of the letter, Helen Barnard, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation who coordinated the letter, said: “Today’s letter shows the overwhelming support that exists for this lifeline which is playing a critical role in helping many families keep their heads above water in extremely turbulent times. Building on existing cross-party support in Parliament, we are coming together to urge ministers not to cut social security at precisely the moment our country needs it most.

“It’s only right to prioritise those hardest hit, pulling families worst affected by the pandemic back from the brink. We are united in calling on the Chancellor to keep doing the right thing by making the uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extending it to those claiming legacy benefits.”

See the full letter and list of signatories on the Joseph Rowntree Website and support the campaign via the Twitter hashtag #KeepTheLifeline.

New research highlights critical need to tackle food insecurity and holiday hunger

16 July 2020
food insecurity house of lords supermarket

The House of Lords Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment has released a report calling for the introduction of new policies to support the health and wellbeing of all through fair access to healthy food.


With their evidence coming from a wide range of expert sources, including some of Neighbourly’s own community research and feedback from thousands of charities using the platform, it’s no surprise that the report’s emphasis on spiralling rates of food insecurity across the UK are well in line with what community groups, schools and food banks have been telling us. 


As summarised in the report: “Significant numbers of people are unable to access the food they need, let alone access a healthy diet.”

The bigger picture

Estimations made by the UN suggests around 2.2 million people in the UK are severely food insecure. But with many millions more forced to choose between nutritious meals and paying their bills, the situation is likely much worse.


In our latest community survey carried out in June, charities told us that they’d seen the number of people seeking support since March more than double. With so many of the small charities we surveyed providing some sort of food relief during lockdown, the predictions quickly become alarming.


Yet without any UK-wide figures collected on those affected - and the causes - we’re left with the growing queues outside food banks as one of our only indicators of the need for change.


Whilst we can see that there is a huge problem, our government currently lacks the in-depth knowledge of the root causes which can inform the most efficient and considerate ways for the problem to be tackled.

Key recommendations

When looking specifically at food insecurity, the report’s key recommendations are:


  • To introduce detailed, routine and fully transparent monitoring of food insecurity in the UK - the findings of which can be used to inform socio-economic reforms in policy


  • Address problems around Universal Credit, particularly around the 5 week wait which, for many families, means they are left without enough money for food


  • To re-evaluate the affordability of Public Health England’s Eat Well Guide and factor its cost into welfare and benefit reform to ensure a healthy diet is affordable for all


  • Improve access to healthy food for school age children by reforming and expanding existing schemes - including Healthy Start vouchers, free school meals and holiday hunger programmes

Food to grow

house of lords holiday hunger

With school holidays now upon us, one of the most pressing on this list of recommendations is holiday hunger.


Although the government has now pledged to extend the free school meal vouchers introduced during lockdown to cover the summer, evidence from food banks suggests the current system is not enough.


Results from our survey suggest that at least 40% of Neighbourly causes are involved in holiday hunger programmes and that they are helping an average of 85 children per organisation every week during the school holidays.


Even if these suggested changes in policy are taken forward, they are unlikely to have an impact quickly enough for the millions of children in the UK who are living below the poverty line right now.

Supporting charities with better policies

Whilst charities are bearing the burden of the nation’s food crisis, providing support to them in the form of funding is integral to ensuring the country’s most vulnerable children are nourished with healthy food to carry them through the long summer break.  


Funds such as the Neighbourly Community Fund, which supports smaller grassroots charities, food banks and holiday hunger programmes, is one of the funds that has been helping to keep these local lifelines running. Seeing large corporate businesses invest in the needs of their local communities through donations to these funds has been a hugely positive shift that’s been all the more prominent during the pandemic.


As we begin to work together with more community-focused momentum, we need more socially minded businesses like these offering continued hope to the small charities which collectively make a huge impact.


Time will tell if new policies can start to tackle the issue of food insecurity in the UK. We look forward to a time when charities no longer need to be welfare firefighters, instead diverting their attention - and funds - to the things that matter the most to them and their local communities.

We Stand With You

10 June 2020
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We entered this week as a proud Bristolian business – the removal of the statue of Edward Colston during the Black Lives Matter protests, whether you agree with it or not, has opened the door further for the uncomfortable conversations we need to have, which are reverberating around the world and have finally reached our UK parliament. Racism is systemic in our society – it’s conscious and unconscious and goes unchecked as we sleepwalk through our lives.

Rarely has there been an occasion when Ben & Jerry's and Banksy have been singing from the same song sheet, such is the urgency of the debate that we need to have, calling for an end to “white supremacy” - not self-conscious racism but the political, economic and cultural system in which white people overwhelmingly control power and material resources - and that “people of colour are being failed by the system – the white system”.

The words they use are strong, powerful, uncomfortable and deliberate. The atrocious death of George Floyd is yet one more lost life to add to the list of countless others who have died at the hands of police brutality, disadvantaged by an unequal society, living in underfunded communities and fighting for survival on a daily basis. White privilege is a real thing that has existed for as long as we can remember. It is the responsibility of all white people to acknowledge and consciously reflect on the wrongs that have gone before. 

The Covid-19 crisis has sadly amplified the situation further by highlighting the undeniable fact that this social disparity has meant the virus has killed more people from BAME communities than others, so not only is the ‘conversation’ urgent, but action needed is too.

These events underpin the importance of how the Neighbourly platform operates, providing micro-grants, surplus food and volunteers to causes supporting those hardest hit in our communities. We commit to ensuring that beneficiary charities working hard to support minority groups or striving for their equality and representation are heard, now and in the future. We will use this moment to call to action businesses and individuals alike to maintain their support for these grassroots organisations that have made a critical difference to BAME communities, not just over the last 12 weeks of the pandemic but for as long as they have existed.

Right here, right now, as our normal everyday lives have been put on hold and our habits have been broken by the Coronavirus crisis, it creates the moment to catalyse change in our local communities around the globe. But change starts with “I” as well as “we”. Personal responsibility, personal commitment and personal accountability. No more sleepwalking or ignorance. No more apathy.

We must “build back better”, celebrate historical moments that reflect progress, which remind our communities and our Government how we must change, that inequality is not acceptable and make a personal commitment to "be the change we want to see in the world".



Leaders call on Prime Minister to create socially just and green recovery from Covid-19

9 June 2020
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A letter sent to the Prime Minister on Tuesday 9th June, signed by Neighbourly CEO Steve Butterworth along with more than 100 renowned individuals, companies, charities, universities, and trade associations has called on the UK Government to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are at the heart of UK Covid-19 recovery plans. 

The letter references a statement made by the Prime Minister at the Financing for Development event on 28 May where he called for "fairer, greener and more resilient global economy" after Covid-19. He said that we must ‘work together to get shared goals back on track including [...] the Sustainable Development Goals’.

The letter supports this and states ‘we do not need to reinvent frameworks or agreements, we can instead use the global goals as the basis for a socially just and green recovery in the UK and abroad’.

Early evidence from the Business and Sustainable Development Commission showed that if implemented the SDGs create at least US$12tn in business opportunities in just 60 market hotspots and estimates this could be 2-3 times bigger across the whole economy.  

The letter has been coordinated by the UK Stakeholders for Sustainable Development (UKSSD) and the United Nations Global Compact Network UK (GCN UK).

Signatories, along side Neighbourly, include: the leaders of Leonard Cheshire, Natwest Group, Nestle UK & Ireland, Linklaters, Clifford Chance, The Body Shop, SSE, HSBC, Standard Life Aberdeen, Mott MacDonald and Unilever; filmmaker Richard Curtis; the Mayor of Bristol; Chairman of the Local Government Association and Dr Mya-Rose Craig (aka Birdgirl).

The letter states that the ‘SDGs provide an internationally agreed framework, which also works at national, regional and local level, alongside and reinforcing existing plans and commitments.’

It asks that the SDGs be used ‘used to consolidate and future-proof [recovery] plans’ and goes on to recommend that they are used to:

  1. Prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities
  2. Build coherent policies for a healthy planet and to aid the transition to net zero
  3. Unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy

The SDGs are part of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and give a “shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”. There are 17 Goals at its centre, encompassing climate action, education and health.

Unfortunately, the UKSSD Measuring Up report, found gaps in policy or inadequate performance for 57% of targets, and 15% where there is little to no policy in place to address it, or where performance is poor. It anticipates that this situation will be worsened by the societal and economic impacts of Covid-19. 

Richard Curtis, UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, film writer, director and co-founder of Project Everyone has said:

“The COVID crisis has shown more than ever that we must work together to secure a better future. The Global Goals are a powerful tool to help us do this; they provide a common vision and a practical blueprint for collaboration. The breadth of support for this letter demonstrates a commitment to working with the UK government to deliver healthy lives, healthy societies and a healthy planet for everyone. We can only build back better together and I hope that the Government will use the Goals to help them do this”


Read the letter in full here.

Neighbourly named among 50 global tech start-ups powering the new retail world

28 April 2020
discovery50

We're delighted to reveal that Neighbourly is among the top 50 retail tech start-ups operating globally, according to a new report published by RWRC – home of Retail Week and World Retail Congress. The Discovery 50 report showcases the world’s top tech start-ups and shines a light on innovative solutions that can support the retail sector – both during the pandemic and in the future.


Why The Discovery 50 was created

Retailers worldwide are scrutinising their business models more closely than ever, as they grapple with the impact of the coronavirus crisis and seek to deliver sales and maintain relevance among consumers. There is a growing realisation in boardrooms that collaboration with start-ups and third parties is crucial to achieve these aims and to better position businesses within the new post-Covid-19 world of commerce.

Profiling the top 50 global retail tech start-ups, the Discovery 50 report analyses the influential role start-ups, including Neighbourly, play in this new world.


How the report was compiled

The entries for the report were judged and shortlisted by a panel of retail and business experts including retail consultant Ian Shephard, retail analyst Natalie Berg, former Morrisons CTO Anna Barsby, Co:Cubed chief executive Jeremy Basset, Retail Week head of insight Lisa Byfield-Green and more.

All the businesses listed in the Discovery 50 started trading in the last seven years and have worked with a breadth of retailers and brands to help transform their businesses, either through a pilot or full-scale solution.


Who are the other 49?

Many of the start-ups in the list have helped brands to leverage their online presence, support the development of tribes and communities and take costs out of a business – all areas that are front of mind as the sector enters uncharted coronavirus-influenced waters. Several others specialise in in-store solutions, some of which will be redundant for retailers right now, but which have the potential to help non-essential shops bounce back when the crisis passes. The report also offers advice on how leaders can open themselves up to new and different ways of thinking and the benefits this can have on the bottom line. Access the Discovery 50 report in full here, or have a quick look at the list below.


What Retail Week said

Retail Week commercial content editor Megan Dunsby told us: “The Discovery 50 shows how start-ups can offer a lifeline for retailers. Now is the time for businesses to think about how they could work differently with the start-up community and build synergies; from creating a fast-track, light-touch process for forming contractual relationships to pre-allocating some funding that can be used for trials. Many start-ups in the Discovery 50 have implemented pilot schemes within weeks of starting conversations with a retailer, while others have been able to integrate full-scale solutions in a matter of months that have delivered major return on investment. Retailers should look to the Discovery 50 as a directory of the best start-ups to work with.”


The 50...

Aura Vision • Avasam • Catapult • Clearpay • Common Objective • Donde Search • Duologi • DynamicAction • ElizaSixtyFour • Engagement Agents • Flux • Gophr • Hurr Collective • Hyper • Increasingly • Intelistyle • Karakuri • LiSA • LovetheSales • LoyaltyLion • meepl • Mercaux • NearSt • Neighbourly • Nextail • Ometria • Omnia Retail • Onvu Retail • parcelLab • Peak • Personify XP • PlanVault • Quorso • RevLifter • Scurri • Shopper Intelligence • SignStix • Smarter Click Technology • Sook • Sparkbox • Spoon Guru • StorIQ • Stuffstr • Thyngs • TokyWoky • VeeLoop • VoCoVo • WiseShelf • ZigZag Global • Zoovu

giffgaff launches ‘goodybank’ with a donation to the Neighbourly Community Fund

22 April 2020
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We're delighted with the news that giffgaff has launched ‘goodybank’ - a brand new initiative to help local communities in Britain and members of the giffgaff community facing hardship during this difficult time.

Founded on giffgaff’s principles of community and choice, the goodybank allows their members to help in two distinct ways - the first being a hardship fund for giffgaff members. Over the past few weeks, giffgaff has been supporting vulnerable members, many of whom have contacted the mobile phone network as a result of the current crisis. Acknowledging that its members are passionate about supporting each other, the goodybank will now allow members to purchase additional credit in the form of minutes, texts or data that will then be donated directly to other members facing hardship and giffgaff has committed to matching donations made by members. As phones become increasingly important throughout COVID-19 and for many the only means of communication with the outside world, giffgaff and its members want to ensure that everyone stays connected.

Ash Schofield, CEO of giffgaff said, “At giffgaff we have always had community at our heart and never has a sense of community been more important. We are already helping vulnerable members, many of whom contacted us as a result of the current crisis and will continue to do so. However, our members are an altruistic bunch, and the goodybank allows them to get involved should they be able to help. Even if we’re far apart, we want people to know they can ask for help and someone will always be there to offer that help and keep them connected.”

The second exciting option within goodybank is for members to make a donation directly to the Neighbourly Community Fund, into which giffgaff has already pledged £75,000. Through the partnership with Neighbourly giffgaff hope to maximise the amount of people it can help at a local level and guarantees that the right people in communities will be given the help and support they need. In our recent study we found that many of the charities in our network were worried about the closure of normal services like lunch clubs for the elderly and emergency food parcels, whilst at the same time needing to support an average of 180 people per week in the community with emergency provisions. The fund is giving micro-grants of £400 to these frontline groups so that services can continue.

Alongside goodybank, giffgaff has also made access to NHS websites free of charge free for every giffgaff member.

Neighbourly and its national partners increase emergency grant funding for community causes across the UK

17 April 2020
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As the coronavirus crisis continues to increase the strain on communities across the UK, Neighbourly and its partners M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Nutricia (Danone), giffgaff and Southern Co-op are extending their Community Fund so that more hyper-local causes can extend their services to help vulnerable people in need.

More than 1,200 community causes within Neighbourly’s network – including foodbanks, homeless shelters, elderly care, community support groups, youth groups and health charities – have already been awarded emergency micro-grants of up to £400 from the Community Fund since its launch four weeks ago.

Phase 2 of the Fund will widen eligibility for the grants so that local charities and community groups who are supporting those who are suffering economically, socially or from ill health can continue their work. As before, the micro-grants will be provided quickly to avoid any service disruption.

M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Nutricia (Danone), giffgaff and Southern Co-op have contributed a combined total of £450,000 to Phase 2 of the Fund, in addition to almost £500,000 which was made available in Phase 1 with donations from M&S, Lidl, Aldi, Danone and Coca-Cola European Partners. M&S have also added the Neighbourly Community Fund as one of their ‘Sparks’ charities so that customers can support the fund when purchasing from the store.

More than 2,500 charities and community causes have already applied to Neighbourly’s Community Fund, highlighting the urgent need for emergency support at a grassroots level.


Steve Butterworth, CEO of Neighbourly, said:

“We have already seen the immediate difference that these micro-grants have made, with the community causes receiving the money within days. As lockdown continues, we want to ensure that as many eligible causes as possible benefit from the Fund, so that the most at-risk people receive urgent help. This is real time grant making in action, and we are calling for more national businesses to join us and help organisations working at a hyper-local level by contributing to the Fund. Together we can get support to those people in most urgent need.”


Caroline Henderson, Founder of Food and Friendship in Brighton & Hove, said:

“We’ve been significantly impacted by Covid-19 and the donation has enabled us to buy equipment needed to convert our lunch club to a delivery service providing hot meals to very isolated and vulnerable people.”


The extension of the Fund comes as a new survey of more than 900 of the community causes in Neighbourly’s networks shows the impact of the coronavirus crisis on their services. More than 80% have adapted their services to continue to provide a service to vulnerable individuals, while 75% are struggling with funding, and 65% say they would use additional funding for emergency food provision. With the additional pressures created by coronavirus, Neighbourly’s community partners estimate that they are now each supporting an average of 260 people every week.


Chris Williams, Head of Community & Events at Richard House Children's Hospice from London, said:

“If we don’t receive financial support in the coming weeks, we could face having to stop providing end of life and emerge respite care. Without our hospice, the families we support will simply have nowhere to turn.”


Gustavo Hildenbrand, Managing Director, Nutricia, part of Danone Specialised Nutrition said:

“Looking after the elderly and those at risk in our community is at the heart of what we do as a business, and this has never been more important. That’s why Nutricia is proud to make this further contribution to the Neighbourly Community Fund, helping local groups who are doing an amazing job of serving the most vulnerable in our communities during these difficult times.”


giffgaff are contributing to the Community Fund as a new partner for Phase 2 along with Southern Co-op who are contributing to the Fund in support of local causes including the charity partners nominated by their store teams. Southern Co-op will make a donation for each member vote that is cast as part of their Board of Directors vote this year. The National Emergencies Trust is also a supporting partner of the Community Fund.


For more information about the Neighbourly Community Fund, and to find out how you can contribute or apply, visit the campaign page.

Pt 2. Ways to be Neighbourly during the Coronavirus outbreak

27 March 2020
four ways to be neighbourly during the coronavirus outbreak

Here at Neighbourly, we’ve been inspired and amazed to see the incredible efforts from local communities across the country in the last week.

Since the first edition of our blog ‘Pt 1. How to support your local community during the Coronavirus outbreak’, M&S, Coca-Cola European Partners, Danone UK & Ireland, ALDI and Lidl have put a total of almost £500k into our new Community Fund which is providing micro-grants to over 1,000 local good causes registered on Neighbourly, during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Lidl has also set up customer food donation points in stores and begun work on putting together food and supply boxes to be distributed to those who are vulnerable during the outbreak through its Feed It Back Campaign – and that’s just the news at Neighbourly.

Out there in the community, nearly half a million people have signed up to volunteer for the NHS during the crisis and we’re hearing and seeing hundreds of heart warming stories of people supporting others in a myriad of different ways – from virtual dance parties to stop loneliness to neighbourhood groups dropping supplies to those in need.

We know so many people want to get involved and help in as many ways as possible, so we’ve put together our “part two” of tips for how to best help your community.

Volunteering

For anyone wanting to lend a hand to help the NHS, the way to sign up is via Good Sam. Once you’ve signed up to volunteer, they will alert you on opportunities to help in your local area with everything from transferring patients home once they’re well enough to be discharged from hospital, to assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.

If seeing all this volunteering happen has inspired you, you can also sign up to become a Red Cross Reserve Volunteer to help both now and in any future emergencies.

(Please note: Volunteer Red Cross and NHS Responders are no longer being accepted at the moment but check back again in the future.)

Neighbourhood groups

With so many amazing people keen to help, some streets can have multiple volunteers willing to go out of their way to help neighbours in need.

To help create a more collaborative and joined up approach, many of these volunteers are coming together to agree on one person being the main point of contact for their neighbourhood or street. This makes it much easier for those who are vulnerable to know exactly who to contact if the need help.

Using social media and chat apps, the main point of contact can coordinate within their volunteer group for each task that comes in.

With one point of contact willing to link with multiple people offering help, problems can be solved much more efficiently.

If you don’t know of any other volunteers in your area and still want to help, we’ve created a Neighbourly card you can print out and pop through your neighbour’s doors to let them know you’re there for them.


self isolating coronavirus help card neighbourly


Virtual fundraising

If you’re one of the many people left saddened by a cancelled fundraising event you’ve been working hard on, don’t despair. Try taking to your webcam and coming up with a whacky idea to raise funds for local charities from your sofa. There are plenty of free tools out there to help such as Zoom video conferencing and Facebook Live.

We asked the Neighbourly team for some of their ideas for virtual fundraisers to get you started:

  • Virtual quiz or ‘pub’ night
  • Virtual talent competition
  • Virtual fancy dress contest
  • Back garden marathon
  • Street sing-off (from your windows!)

To find local charities and community groups that need your best fundraising efforts, head to the Neighbourly website.

Community Kindness

Finally, you may have noticed rainbows appearing in the windows of your neighbour’s flats and houses. This was started to bring cheer for children on walks round their neighbourhood.

Popping a rainbow in your window is an easy way to make a friendly gesture to your neighbours.

Just remember, you don’t have to be an artist to draw a rainbow – and you don’t need to be a child to go rainbow spotting either!



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(Image Credit: Rowan Clark)

If you liked this blog and want more advice, check out part one of how to help your local community during the Coronavirus outbreak. If you share it on Twitter, don’t forget to follow and tag us @nbrly.

New fund to support community organisations helping those most at risk during Coronavirus crisis

20 March 2020
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Here at Neighbourly we know now, more than ever, how important it is to support local communities. That's why we've set up a new Community Fund, backed by our partner businesses, to support the Neighbourly causes that will be most affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

M&S Family (including M&S Bank and M&S Energy), Lidl, Aldi, Danone UK & Ireland and Coca-Cola European Partners have created a new fund to support community organisations helping those most at risk during the Coronavirus crisis and are urging other businesses to join them.

The Neighbourly Community Fund will funnel vital funds directly to community causes across the UK to ensure they can deliver essential services to those most at risk during the crisis. Our partners have committed a combined total of almost £500,000 to the Fund, to provide immediate micro-grants to community organisations that are helping the people most affected by the outbreak, including the elderly, those on low incomes and people at risk of food insecurity. And they are calling on other businesses to join them and contribute to the fund to build a coordinated response.

We know that many small charities and community groups face severe disruption to their services as a result of Covid-19, following a reduction in the number of volunteers and donations. These unrestricted grants will initially go to existing Neighbourly members across the UK and Ireland, including foodbanks, homeless shelters, care homes, youth groups and health charities. Some charities have told us they need urgent support to carry on running their core services, while others are adapting and starting new services to support people in the community.

Community causes supported through the fund will include organisations like The Moorlands Community Charity, which provides Meals on Wheels services for older people near Hull. Jacky Crawford, head of service there, told us: “The need for our services will increase over the coming weeks as many older people self-isolate, but without urgent help to get hold of more supplies, we just won’t be able to sustain our support.”

The immediate micro grants of up to £400 will go towards food provision, emergency supplies, practical support, running costs, transport and other essentials. By co-ordinating the emergency response, we will be able to assess where the most urgent gaps in support are, and where to direct funds to.


Steve Rowe, CEO of M&S, has commented:

"One of the things that makes me most proud to work at M&S is the role we play in our local communities. Not just through the brilliant service our colleagues give to our customers, but through the time and energy they give to helping those most in need. We can’t do this on our own and so we partner with organisations like Neighbourly who link our stores to local causes so we can donate surplus food and non-food products to the people who really need it. This fund will help mobilise over 1,000 local charities and organisations across the UK to support the most vulnerable members of our community. The whole M&S family is getting involved - including M&S Bank and M&S Energy – so we can keep up the support communities need most as events unfold."


Christian Härtnagel, CEO at Lidl GB, said:

“We are living in unprecedented times, and it’s essential that we look after those who need it most – that’s why our ‘Feed it Back’ scheme with Neighbourly is more important than ever. Through our store connections, and through this additional donation, we are able to directly support groups who are out in our communities doing an exceptional job of looking after the most vulnerable.”


Fritz Walleczek, Managing Director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi, added:

“Neighbourly makes a huge difference in the communities they support, making sure surplus food and other donations get to those who need it most. That’s why, as a long-term partner, we’re committed to helping them throughout the year. The additional support provided through this fund is critical in ensuring Neighbourly causes have the support they need to continue making a positive difference to the most vulnerable in our society during this particularly difficult time.”


Leendert Den Hollander, Vice President and General Manager at Coca-Cola European Partners commented:

“There is nothing more important than communities at a time like this, and we fully support the excellent work Neighbourly is doing to ensure those of us most at risk are equipped with essential supplies and services through this difficult period.”  


James Pearson, Managing Director of Danone UK & Ireland, said:

“Working closely with communities has always been important to Danone and forms a core part of our ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision. We are committed to supporting our local communities and are proud to be a founding member of the Neighbourly Community Fund to help organisations on the front line in this time of uncertainty.”


The launch of the fund follows a new survey of Neighbourly’s front-line charity and community partners, which showed:

  • 77 percent of charities supporting older people expect services to be disrupted, with 75 percent of organisations who support young people fearing the same
  • More than 60 percent of charities have already seen a reduction in food surplus donations in recent weeks.
  • 75 percent of organisations expect to provide emergency provision after schools close

According to government statistics, 3 million children are at risk of going hungry while they are out of school; 1 million children who receive free school meals during term time, and another 2 million children who are ineligible for free school meals but are growing up in households in in-work poverty. Our network of charity partners estimate that with the additional pressures created by coronavirus, they expect to support an average of almost 180 people each week with emergency provision such as food and basic essentials. 


We know that what is needed by community groups and charities today will be very different over the weeks and months to come. Through our nationwide network of vetted good causes we will work closely with our partners to ensure the right support is directed to those places in most urgent need.